VA ratings for arthritis: Arthritis is the most common disease observed among the people of older age. There are two different types of arthritis disease namely rheumatoid arthritis and degenerative arthritis. One in every five person is affected by this disease.
The disease caused abnormalities in bones or weakens them. In this article, we will discuss the VA ratings for degenerative arthritis for veterans. The discharge of active duty members from their service is mainly due to this degenerative arthritis. There are different symptoms of degenerative arthritis such as stiffness, pain, disability to move or perform any work, swelling of joints, etc.
VA Disability Ratings for arthritis
As discussed earlier, arthritis is of two types and VA gives ratings to both in different orders. There is a criterion that is used to give the ratings ranging from 0 percent to 100 percent. If the veteran has a condition of rheumatoid arthritis and he in completely incapacitated, then VA gives the ratings of 100 percent disability.
Then the veteran with established diagnosis receives the ratings of 20 %, 40 % and 60%. Degenerative arthritis on the other hand receives the ratings based on complete impairment. The veterans must have to prove their service connection for the disability to get the ratings. There is a program that veteran affair department has made that also provides pensions to the veterans who have arthritis disability.
Knee Conditions Recognized by VA
Knee pain is rated under different diagnostic criteria according to 38 CFR § 4.71a,
Schedular Ratings, Musculoskeletal System.
Some of the common knee conditions covered by diagnostic codes are as follows:
- 5256 – Ankylosis of the knee:
Abnormal knee stiffness, which can be estimated at 30 to 60 percent. The higher the knee threshold, the higher the disability.
- 5257 – VA disability rating for knee instability:
Lots of movement from side to side or frequent dislocation of the knee. it happens when tendons and cartilage cannot
support the knee joint accurately. On this level of instability, VA will assign a rating between 0 and 30 percent.
- 5260 – Limitation of flexion of the knee:
The most common knee conditions where veterans receive disability benefits are VA. Flexible restrictions apply
Restriction of movements when a veteran bends or moves the knee toward the body. The highest rating for this condition is 30%, but the most common is 10%. Knee status related to the VA speed limit is the strictest criterion to be assessed. Disability assessment is explicitly defined by specific measurement criteria.
- 5261 – Limitation of extension of the knee:
In this condition, the knee is not frozen, but they do not do well and cannot straighten all the way. In this condition VA give rating between 0 and 50 percent based on the extension limitation.
Arthritis and military service
The veteran affair department gives different ratings based on the condition. There are no combined ratings for the disability. The arthritis is rated after the complete medical examination of every joint under the 5002 code of diagnostic. If the veteran is completely bedridden then he will receive the rating of 100 percent.
Even if the veteran is not bedridden, he will still receive the rating under 100 percent. These ratings are given so that the veteran who receives medical help and care can get the treatment on time. If the veteran is discharged from the service and gets the arthritis disability, then he can receive the arthritis benefits. The veteran will have to give the medical examination that will prove that the disease was caused due to the service.
VA ratings for arthritis in back
If the veteran gets arthritis disability of back, then he will be eligible to receive the rating of 10 percent or 20 percent based on the severity of condition. Veteran affair department requires complete examination before providing the benefits. The condition of arthritis should be visible either from the swelling of joints or muscle spasms.
Following things are considered before giving the ratings to a veteran:
- 10 percent rating for the back is given to the veteran who gives an X-ray as an evidence for his condition. The degenerative disease must be present in one or two joints of the spine.
- 20 percent disability rating is provided again to the person who shows evidence in the form of X-ray. The person can have arthritis in two or more joints which leads to incapacitating episodes occasionally.